más sobre los árboles: la diversidad, la historia, la literatura…

Quebracho blanco
del sitio Verde Chaco

In the sixteenth century when the Jesuits, for better or worse, carved out their missions deep in the forests of South America, they came across a tree they named quebracho–“quiebra hacha” or “axe breaker”–for the surprising heaviness and hardness of the wood.  The Guaraní and other indigenous peoples who lived there first used the bark of this tree medicinally and taught the Jesuits to do so, too.   The power of the environment to shape history, peoples and cultures is evident in two useful and thoughtfully detailed web sites focusing on trees and other flora in South America.

If you scroll down the right side of the Verde Chaco blog, past the long list of latin names, you’ll find the Spanish and indigenous names of a large number of trees, many native to Argentina, but also from around the world.  In addition to photographs and descriptions, many entries include well researched and cited historical and literary quotes and references, as well as legends and stories associated with the plant.  I’ve used this blog to supplement readings on historical and literary themes.

Another excellent resource is the Chilebosque web site.

de Chilebosque

In addition to a colorful and informative catalog of Chilean flora, there are interactive maps, downloadable guides and books and a section on poetry (featuring works by Chilean poets Pablo Neruda andGabriela Mistral) and indigenous legends related to specific plants.  The section Flora Nativa Urbana includes maps identifying native plants and trees in cities.  There’s even a section identifying the gigantes, the largest examples of particular plants or trees in the country.  Lots of potential readings, photographs for students to describe or compare, maps to navigate and information for “travel” themed assignments.  Another valuable resource is the extensive list of links to other sites that cover not only Chilean flora and fauna, but also national parks, conservation efforts, historical documents and other closely related topics

About sustainabilityandspanish

Spanish teacher and accidental environmentalist.
This entry was posted in A Sense of Place, Environment & Ecology, Environmental Resources in Spanish and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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